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Adding Value To The Business of Cropping

Interpreting seed packets

Learning Intentions:

    Students will be able to:
  • understand the symbols and special terms used on seed packets
  • use this information to germinate seeds and grow plants at the right time and in the right place.


  • Collect old seed packets ready for this activity.
  • Seed packets can be laminated for reuse.

What You Will Need:

  • A range of new or used seed packets.

Hints and tips

  • For best storage, keep seeds in a cool, dark, dry location.
  • Seeds deteriorate more quickly once the foil package is opened.

What to do

Study the packets:

  1. Try and figure out what each of the icons mean. Discuss with each other to see if you agree.
  2. Copy the icons and write beside each one a sentence or two explaining what they mean. Look up the Seed Sowing Glossary to help your understanding.
  3. Find terms and phrases that have special meaning. These are often short-hand, e.g. 'Full sun', 'Sow open', 'Plant space', and 'Maturity'. Write them down and after discussion and research, write explanations of what they mean. Again, look up the Seed Sowing Glossary to help your understanding.

Test your knowledge:

  1. Test each other’s understanding by swapping seed packets.
  2. Have a class discussion about difficult symbols and terms to figure out their meanings.

Using your knowledge:

Choose seeds you want to sow in the garden or in pots and use the seed packet information to sow them correctly for best results.

Related resources

Basic seed facts

Seed sowing glossary